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Report on Asosan (Japan) — September 1990


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 15, no. 9 (September 1990)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Asosan (Japan) Scoria ejected from new vent

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1990. Report on Asosan (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 15:9. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199009-282110



32.8849°N, 131.085°E; summit elev. 1592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

White steam emission from Crater 1 continued, punctuated by weak ash emissions on 1, 14, 16, 17, and 27 September. Plume heights ranged from a few hundred to 1,000 m above the crater. Vent 892, site of activity until June, was buried by mud and heavy rainfall in July. A visit to the crater on 17 September revealed the existence of a new vent (901), not visible the previous day, which ejected blocks and flame to 10 m. Scoria blocks were ejected to 30 m above the vent on 28 September, the first magmatic ejecta since 18 June (15:06). The amplitude and number of tremor episodes increased for several days around 20 September.

Geological Summary. The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 km3 of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 CE. The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.

Information Contacts: JMA.